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PM Najib and PM Lee (Source : business.com.sg)

Malaysia PM to visit Singapore for the eighth Singapore-Malaysia leaders’ retreat

Malaysia Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Singapore from Monday (14 January) to Tuesday to meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for the eighth Singapore-Malaysia leaders' retreat.

According to theMinistry of Foreign Affairs, the leaders are scheduled for bilateral discussions and to witness the signing of a bilateral agreement for the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link between Johor Baru and Singapore.

Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure Khaw Boon Wan, who is also Transport Minister, and Malaysia's Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan will sign the legally-binding agreement.

The cross-border MRT is said to be able to carry up to 10,000 passengers an hour in each direction between Johor's Bukit Chagar terminus station and the Singapore terminus in Woodlands North, where it will join the upcoming Thomson- East Coast Line. The service is slated to start running by end-2024.

MFA said, "The RTS Link will help to boost connectivity, strengthen our economic and business links, and enhance people-to-people relations."

Regarding the meeting, MFA said that the leaders' retreat is the key platform for both prime ministers to review progress in bilateral ties and set the direction going forward, which have yielded major bilateral breakthroughs, such as in 2013 when the high-speed rail (HSR) line between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur was announced, and in 2010 when both sides resolved an impasse over land owned by Malayan Railway in Singapore.

The Prime Ministers will be at the official opening of two mixed development projects built on land parcels that were part of the land swop deal under the Points of Agreement on Monday.

The two projects are Marina One in the Marina Bay financial district, and Duo in Ophir-Rochor. The projects are developed by M+S, a joint venture between Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and Malaysia’s Khazanah, which cost about S$7 billion and S$4 billion respectively.

MFA said, "These two iconic projects will bring tangible, mutual benefits to both countries, arising from the full implementation of the points of agreement on Malayan Railway land in 2011."

Datuk Seri Najib will also call on President Halimah Yacob on Monday.

PM Lee and Mrs Lee will host a private dinner for Datuk Seri Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor later that evening.

Mr Lee will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and several Cabinet ministers during the retreat, while a high-level delegation comprising several Malaysian Cabinet ministers and senior officials will join Datuk Seri Najib.

The retreat was originally scheduled to be held in December. However, the Malaysian leader asked for a postpone as he had to attend an emergency Organisation of Islamic Cooperation assembly in Turkey on 13 December over the United States' move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.